An American mom got to see her daughter this week, twelve years after the girl’s Egyptian father took off to his homeland with the then toddler.
Janet Greer’s daughter Dowsha was born in Hawaii, making her an American citizen, albeit with an Egyptian father. When Greer and that father, Magdy Elgohary, broke up, he took off with their daughter for Egypt. She last saw her on Memorial Day weekend, when she did the hand-off most split up couples with joint custody have become accustomed to. She expected to see her daughter again at the end of the weekend, but it never happened. Greer has spent more than a decade fighting for her daughter’s return, fighting even for a chance to see her.
Last week, she did. The girl’s name has been changed, and Greer told Good Morning America that she spent much of the visit with her eyes pointed down at the floor, but video of the two together shows a girl who can’t get close enough to her mom, choosing to sit right beside this relative stranger.
The sad news here is this isn’t over. Greer got help from the U.S. Embassy and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to arrange the visit, but Egyptian law is still on the side of Elgohary. She can’t bring her daughter home to the states.
But Greer is moving ahead on promises of future visits, and she says she feels better now, that she can even stomach going home to the states without her daughter. “I still feel like the connection is there now. I know I will see her again,” Greer told GMA.
I was floored by her bravery. After twelve years of fighting, I’d imagine you’re so worn down that you take what you can get. And getting time with your child is the best gift out there. But I honestly don’t know that I’d be able to leave Cairo the next day. Would you?